The book, with watercolor illustrations by Christian Robinson, began as a poem that Markle says she wrote for Harry on the first Father’s Day after Archie was born. Said the Duchess of Sussex in a statement, “That poem became this story. Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations that capture the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life…”
Markle continued, that “this representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens. My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”
The book will be published by Random House Children’s Books in the U.S. and simultaneously by Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada; and Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s UK, in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa. Markle will narrate the audiobook edition.
The publisher describes The Bench as evoking “a deep sense of warmth, connection, and compassion” and giving readers “a window into shared and enduring moments between a diverse group of fathers and sons—moments of peace and reflection, trust and belief, discovery and learning, and lasting comfort.”
Last month, Markle and Harry secured their first Netflix greenlight – a documentary about the Invictus games. The pair’s Archewell Productions is making Heart of Invictus, directed by The White Helmets director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara.